Wednesday, 4 March 2015

Yami Lester





I was privileged some years ago to meet Yami Lester. Some of you will know of him. As a young boy he worked, as many indigenous lads did, looking after animals (goats I think) in remote northern South Australia.



But how could he? According to the government of the day there were no indigenous people living in the region north and West of Maralinga where the British Government tested the "bomb"
In the 1950s, while still a young boy, he was blinded by a "black mist" from the south.

This continued as a myth for 3 decades and one day a hapless Minister on Alice Springs radio was confronted by Yami Lester who rang in and said "Well I was there!" and ..... to cut a long story short with people being caught with their pants down..... Yami was vindicated.

He had been blinded by the fallout. Others, we suppose, died unacknowledged.



Yami went on, despite significant physical impairment, to lead and inspire the charge and  recognition of the travesty that was nuclear testing in lands occupied by people who no one cared two hoots about.



He is now nearing the end of his life. A life we can give thanks for. But which we wish had not been so early curtailed.



Lots of follow up stuff in the links below!


  1. Check out
  2. http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/verbatim/yami-lester/3588840
  3. http://www.papertracker.com.au/radio/interview-with-yami-lester/
  4. http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2013/01/23/maralinga-compo-collapse-prompts-calls-act-grace
  5. https://bobinnes.wordpress.com/tag/uluru-handover/
  6. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/songline-at-heart-of-secret-mens-business/story-fn59niix-1226360712409
  7. Paul Kelly's song about Yami, Evie & Maralinga ...
  8. Paul Kelly-Maralinga-Rockwood Music Hall, NYC- 3-8-2012.MTS
  9. If  time permits (for both of us!) I am planning to pay a brief visit over the next month to sit and have a c

Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Spiritual healing

In the way of these things, Facebook decided I must be interested in Spiritual Healing!
I suppose I am. I pray almost every day for someone's healing. And see a lot of people who are quite sick.
Any way, I got directed to a page which tells me about EVENTS and WORKSHOPS...their shouting... for Adelaide Spiritual & Wellbeing events.
Entry 1..... someone wants a "house clearing" I am waiting to be able to post so that I can ask. Do you mean an Exorcism?
We who have a little experience in this stuff know that there is more to exorcism than meets the eye.
It is very easy to make too much of this but it is not just getting a broom and sweeping cobwebs away.
Equally well you can make too much of this stuff. Jesus just tells them to get knicked! and that seems to work!
It needs to be said that every time I have baptised a person, the parents and Godparents are questioned and then the the prayer of power is said. Most people don't realise this is an exorcism, sometimes I tell them, other times you see them hear the words, and I try to do this as dramatically as I can
Almighty God deliver you from the powers of darkness
and lead you in the light of Christ
to his everlasting kingdom.
And, as the Pentecostal preacher would say....and all the people said  Amen 

and so I say it boldly, often a little fearfully, sometimes catching the eye of someone who knows that we all live on the edge of evil.
But I am confident that when each is baptised, as Poppy will be soon, the forces of death, evil and fear are vanquished.

So I am waiting for CW to contact me about the 'house clearing'; believers have nothing to fear. I'll take my 85 year old friend with me (as I did the last time objects were being hurled around the room!).....I trust her faith more than my own. But together we work quite well!

Monday, 2 March 2015

Oh school!

I am actually quite fortunate in that I went to two "quite good"  secondary schools.
When we moved to Australia I went to Whyalla Technical High School
But in those days country schools had no conception that  "country students" might do more than work on the land, or at the steelworks, or in the shipyard.
Let's face it ...this was never going to be my fate!
I came from England with two other languages int ow....French and German....but could only pursue French.
The Science and Maths was Ok and the English was OK.  Music was virtually non-existent,  as a mediocre cellist there was no-one who could take me to the next step. As a quite reasonable singer, there was no one to train my voice.
I didn't even really realise this was happening....I was too busy learning how to smoke!
I lament these things. But life's like that
Whitehaven Grammar School was a classic school of the English Grammar School tradition.
My French and German would have been cemented and I would probably have got a grounding in Russian.
I learnt only later in  life that I have  a bit of flair for languages.
I can now struggle by in Hebrew, NT Greek ...and my German and French are still OK.
I lament the lack of Russian!
Soooooo....today, as you do,
I have had a little contact on Facebook with former school contacts.
I remember that  I played the Cello in the orchestra for Trial by Jury in 1967, that I was a policeman & a pirate of Penzance. That I had been H. Higgins in Pygmalion along with Lynn Breuer (formerly Raymond...and speaker of the Legislative Assembly....who was much better than me !) That I had been a Duke both in Merchant of Venice,  and in Twelfth Night. That I had conducted  B.Britten's Let's Make an Opera!.....so I can't complain.
Just sort of wish I'd known then what I know now!


Affirmations....

I am the (albeit-in-abeyance) Chair of Affirming Catholicism South Australia
Affirming Catholicism  is a movement within the Anglican Church (not the Roman Catholic Church) that affirms that traditional Catholic faith is and can be fully experienced outside the narrow confines of what is often called Catholicism.
Anglicans have long held that they are a Catholic Church, and indeed that what happened at the Reformation was NOT that the English Church ceased to be Catholic, but rather that we separated from the authority of Rome.
I would suggest that we have been justified in this separation over three centuries!
Orthodox Christians had done this some centuries before.

So you are quite likely, today, to walk into an Anglican Church and not see terribly much that differs from a Roman Catholic Church, or indeed a Lutheran, Presbyterian or Uniting Church
There will be minor details of difference....and at times we are tempted to say I am more right than you are but things are different today.
That is not to say we agree about everything (we do agree about quite a lot....but not about everything)
Affirming Anglicans accept the traditional Christian belief structure.
=> We also affirm that God has chosen both women and men to exercise the ministerial priesthood (Romans and the Orthodox do not)
=>We affirm that God doesn't discriminate on the grounds of sexuality or gender.....this of course is controversial in the Church. Though not, it would seem, in the community at large. Perhaps the Church needs the humility to recognise that it needs to learn from the world!

Saturday, 28 February 2015

And what is peace

SM Gibson
February 24, 2015
(ANTIMEDIAOn Tuesday, February 10th, 




Dr. Randy  Beckum addressed students at MidAmerican Nazarene University’s regular chapel service. His message was in response to two films which have recently made headlines around the world; American Sniper and Selma. Dr. Beckum, who also serves as the University’s Chaplain and was the Vice-President of Community Formation, questioned the prevalent culture surrounding “Christians” in the United States which champions a killer above a preacher who taught non-violence.
Dr. Beckum’s lesson spoke directly to Christians. The following is an excerpt of his controversial message:
“I am just talking to those who would be followers of Jesus. This is not for those who don’t care about being a Christ follower. I am extremely troubled. I have been for a long time and I have hesitated to address this subject publicly, but I cannot keep silent about it any longer. Something happened recently that has really disturbed me.

As you know two movies came out recently. Selma, the story of one of the 20th century most influential Christian leaders, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who led a non-violent movement that changed the course of American History forever.

And American Sniper, the story of the most deadly Navy SEAL sniper in American history. Selma has made 29-30 million so far. American Sniper made over 103 million in the first 4 days. Gives you an idea about who our heroes are.

I don’t think it is an under-statement to say that our culture is addicted to violence, guns, war, revenge and retaliation.

Unfortunately, so are a lot of Christians.”
The former administrator of the year then went on to critique placing loyalty for one’s country above spiritual beliefs. Dr. Beckum said, We have to be very careful about equating patriotism with Christianity. We never say God and…anything. God is above all, everything else is underneath.

I love my country and am thankful for freedom.

But the earliest Christian creed was very politically incorrect and dangerous.

Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not

We have put “our way of life”/freedom on the top rung.

If you mess with it I’ll blow your head off.

For a Christian what is on the top rung? Love for all.
Fury and debate erupted across the Olathe, Kansas campus. Many believed that Beckum’s words were inflammatory while others whole-heartedly agreed with and supported his synopsis. Rumors persist that it was high financial contributors to the University and denominational leaders inside of the school who felt that the statements undermined the integrity of the University.
On Monday, Dr. Beckum was relieved of his Vice-Presidency. In a statement released by University President David J. Spittal, it was explained that Dr. Beckum will retain his position as Chaplain but will no longer serve in the VP position which he has held since 1996.
MidAmerican Nazarene University should not have to fall on the sword for something that is a cultural issue. This knee-jerk reaction should not reflect on a single institution but rather on society as a whole. The unfortunate situation that has transpired at a small private university in Kansas should be used as a teaching tool and cause many Americans to reflect on what they truly believe in. It is primarily the Fox News watching conservative Christian who is the cheerleader for U.S. intervention and subsequent violence which follows its sword around the world, when ways of obtaining peace should be promoted instead.
Why do Americans claim to value their freedoms but are threatened and call for censure when someone with an opposing view expresses their intellectual viewpoint and First Amendment right?
Why do Christians allow fear — as opposed to love — to dictate their decision making?
Why are Christians so loyal to the established order when it was the establishment who killed Jesus?
You can read the manuscript of Dr. Randy Beckum’s full sermon

Friday, 27 February 2015

Misogyny....alive and well

I rather agree with an early February comment in The Australian that the report of the Human Rights Commission into asylum-seeker children in detention is two years too late. Gillian Triggs, the chair admitted this herself.
But to witness the attempted humiliation of  Dr Triggs this week before the Senate Estimates' Committee is outrageous.
Her reputation as an international lawyer is impeccable but the findings she released did not suit the narrow political agenda of the current government.
It does not seem to me  that she was in any way partisan. By and large she says that Australia (not any particular party) should be ashamed of its treatment of children seeking asylum.
Yet the Government of the day (very much under siege on all sorts of fronts) has chosen to demand her resignation. Some of them deny this but the evidence would seem to contradict this.
What I find offensive is the patronising behaviour  of certain members of the commitee with some of the male Senators constantly referring to female witnesses as "my dear" and the, what would seem like, bullying tactics by some of the elderly male Senators who seem to think that women should be seen and not heard!
"I thought you might like to hear a man's voice!"   says coalition Senator Barry O'Sullivan after he thought women had been speaking too long
I would assure Sen O'Sullivan that there is a lot of catching up to do. Men have been allowed to out -talk women for decades in the political arena.
Well done Dr Triggs!

Monday, 9 February 2015

Ohhhhhh it moves on

On Sunday 8 February I was a priest of 34 years!   Where has all that time gone?
So much has happened in the last year not the least of which has been my Grandfathering.....just love her so much
In Australia we have seen today a bitter government return its hard-hearted leader to the position of PM.
I am quite glad....because it probably means  that they will just wound themselves so much that they will not be returned to government.
I am inclined to think that they have more intelligent and less arrogant candidates (eg. M Turnbull and J Bishop)  but their call today is that they will stay with the arrogant PM. This is politics and it is harsh.


Monday, 2 February 2015

Anniversary of Ordination as a Deacon

I am writing this at about the time, 35 years ago, the service of Ordination was taking place at St Peter's Cathedral Adelaide
I had spent a whole year carefully going through the Ordination Service in A Prayer Book for Australia, each morning after the Eucharist thinking and praying about the climax of what my theological training had been all about
I was ordained a deacon by Archbishop Keith Rayner on Feb 2nd 1980.
At the time I was wondering why I was being ordained a deacon....since I knew I was actually called to be a priest! (That ordination happened ...as is our Anglican custom a year later)
I did realise two or three years later that as a priest working as most of us do, in a parish, or hospital..I spent most of my time doing the work of a deacon. 

Of the 60 hours or so I usually seemed to work a week...ten were probably specifically priestly and the rest were diaconal functions...seeking out the needy, the poor and tending to the sick.
Since then, women have been ordained as deacons...and indeed also as  priests ... and finally as bishops, in  Anglican and other churches. {Some still perpetuate a prejudice and discrimination which the scriptures seem fain to support which would exclude women...shame on them}
That's a whole other question.....
On this weekend we celebrate ..the Presentation of Jesus in the Temple (Feb 2nd...sometimes also called The Purification...but that's another sexist story!)


It is an opportune time to think about vocation. Mary and Joseph ...presenting Jesus in the Temple (40 days after his birth)[ see for example Luke 2:22-40] meet a couple of spiritual folk..Simeon and Anna...who say  .....It's good for you to bring your child for God's blessing!   But God has more in store for your child...than you do!!
Those of us who have children and grandchildren know how true that might be.
It is certainly true of my own 'vocation'
What ever else I thought God should endow and bless
God's plans have always been some what different..absolutely better. Not always to my liking.
But always right.
I have not found it easy to be a priest (or a deacon) 

but the sense of God's love and support, 
of God's purpose has only strengthened through adversity.  
I suspect it is so for most of us who celebrate anniversaries of ordination at this, and other, times

Monday, 26 January 2015

Arise Sir Prince Philip

I am sure that we were told when monarchist Tony Abbott reintroduced Knights and Dames, a pseudo-aristocracy, (perhaps something some Liberals miss) that it would be reserved for such as those who have received it. Two Governors General and an outstanding serving military officer in Angus Houston. Read his biography and you get some idea of what a modern Australian might be like.
He emigrated to Australia in 1968[ to work as a jackaroo on a cattle station in north-west Western Australia. It was there that his workmates dubbed him "Angus", due to his strong Scottish accent.[3
Houston joined the RAAF as a cadet pilot in 1970 and spent the early part of his career flying UH-1 Iroquois helicopters in various parts of Australia, Papua New Guinea and Indonesia........his career goes on and you can read more. It is impressive. 
Mr Abbott's obsession with the Royal Family is bizarre to say the least.
But let it not divert from the reality that it points to.
Does modern Australia actually believe it should be a "monarchy" constitutional or otherwise

How does the contribution of the Duke of Edinburgh compare to such as Angus Houston, Peter Cosgrove or Quentin Bryce?  We have seldom seen him; 
there is little that is uniquely Australian to his contribution; 
in the United Kingdom 
he is often pilloried for making racist, 
sexist 
and socially offensive comments. 

Does Australia really need or want this.
Some examples are below....and these are only a few.....
1. China State Visit,  If you stay here much longer, you’ll all be slitty-eyed

2. To a blind women with a guide“Do you know they have eating dogs for the anorexic now?”
3. To an Aborigine in Australia“Do you still throw spears at each other?”











The rest are legendary. And Prime Minster Abbott thinks he is the sort of role model who stands alongside Peter Cosgrove, Quentin Bryce, Angus Houston
If being the pro-genitor of our next King is his major accomplishment then perhaps that fact alone should say :bring on the Republican debate again!!”

I can think of at least six indigenous Australians who have offered more significant service and leadership to Australia, than this non-Australian citizen who happens to be married to the Queen.

Flags Australia Day 2015

Flags

Let the wind blow free
that flags may fly
flags of our nationality
flags of our aboriginality
High over the square
listlessly sweeping
political statement
under Victoria's benign gaze
(who would have thought the old woman had so much fun in her).
Let the wind blow free
lest we forget.

flying over Victoria Square Adelaide are two enormous billowing flags, the national flag and the Aboriginal flag.


Stephen Clark 2005

Saturday, 24 January 2015

We are a good country but are we Christian

I am interested in the current debate in South Australia about prayers at local Council meetings. And at this time of National Celebration, (Australia Day) the question about whether or not Australia is a Christian country. 
My oft-stated conclusion is that it is not!   But it is a great thing that people of faith (all faiths) and no-faith can live alongside each other

It seems to me that the time is long past to stop religious pretence. 
Part of that pretence has been  that reciting a formula of Victorian words before a Council or Parliamentary meeting somehow will invoke supernatural blessing.  This is, to my mind, superstition and idolatry.

[On a side note It is interesting to note that the prayers that are 'rattled off' before Parliamentary sittings, and I suppose meetings of local Councils...are in the language of the 19th Century...Our Father which art in heaven.....in earth as it is in heaven [this latter expresses a cosmology in which the Universe revolves around the earth....perhaps too subtle for most]....my observation is that very few members join in these prayers. The Churches have long ago tried to leave this language back where it belongs .Our Father who art in heaven. better expresses our belief in a personal God...and we do understand the wonder of living on earth ]

You may be surprised by these comments as I happen to be (as some will know) a priest of the Anglican Church. That Church been dogged throughout South Australia’s history by a sense of rubber-stamping government with God’s blessing; the formulaic prayers are part of that superstition.

I am not suggesting that people of faith (and we are many: Christians, Buddhists, Moslems, Jews, Indigenous people, Hindus…..) should stop carrying out their religious duty to pray for leaders, government and our country.  Some might think this is pointless, we people of faith don’t think that!  It's OK to disagree on such matters. Even a sign of health that we live in a country where it is acceptable to hold different points of view.

But in this week when we celebrate certain aspects of Australia’s history; keep religious pretence out of it. Indeed get rid of it!

And be glad that we who know and believe it’s not pretence will continue to pray! Even if you think it is a waste of time.
And give us room to do it.  Perhaps we should give our places of decision-making "a room" where people of faith might gather to pray for decision making. (One of the ways that the cessation of prayers before meetings of Government has been dealt with in democracies is for believers to gather of their own accord immediately before the meetings. I would encourage the pray-ers to do that.  How wonderful it would be if  that was ecumenical/interfaith/ cross cultural...but let's take what we can get!) 
Even though some don't believe that this matters, as a free and liberal country we should rejoice that the values that people take seriously are taken seriously.

In our churches, mosques, temples, and other sacred places. the rest of the population may be surprised to find that we pray for Liberal and Labor, Government and Opposition. Local, State and Federal Government. Australia and other nations

I think it’s good to stop the fakery of mimicking the shallowness of Victorian Christianity which was more about empire building than faith. But not to stop being people of faith

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Intimacy...Anglicans find this difficult

Anglicans are not good at intimacy!  We are, after all, stiff upper-lip British!



Today at our two Eucharists we were simply invited to approach the newly blessed holy water (for the Baptism of Jesus) and mark each other with the sign of the cross.

"I sign you with the sign of the Cross" I said to my friend and right hand man/person; Peter.

And both congregations had an intimate time. (I thought) as they touched and blessed their friends and fellow Christian travellers with a few drops of water

It should be more like this ....don't you think?

Saturday, 10 January 2015

My beloved grandaughter

This has been a monumental week for me. A couple of years ago, probably when I was feeling a bit down, I prayed the prayer of a patriarch (look up Abraham, Isaac and Jacob if you need to understand the Jewish Christian heritage.)...but there are plenty of other Patriarchs & Matriarchs....I think of Henry  & Lillian Clark for example, who would never have thought of  themselves as such and yet parented 4 daughters, 2 sons, 9 granddaughters,  4 grandsons who in turn have parented  8 daughters & 7 sons...this will at lest give L something to check and tell me I have got the numbers wrong
I prayed as Abraham and Sarah had prayed...or tried to... that I too would be the father of a generation.
She's looking pretty good so far, more than one person has commented that she would appear to have her eye on me....and those long curly baby fingers...well I am pretty well wrapped around them!

Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Another year- get a move on...there's more to review!

Adelaide had a great Fringe...and we just went to things spontaneously. It was a good way to do it, and I am looking forward to this year's particularly since we will be having a series at St Mary Mags (3 entertaining music afternoons Sundays 1, 8 & 15 March)

Lots of interesting questions about the blogosphere, is the traditional West (of which I count Australia a part) got any right to regard itself as "Christian"...the evidence is thin on the ground. Most people I come into contact with are  now happy or perhaps "brave enough" to identify as non-religious. I think this is probably better than pretending to be a Christian when most/many people have not the faintest idea of what that might mean.

The great political diversion was same-sex marriage. Perhaps better and more happily styled "marriage equality".  I hope we are moving to a society where everyone has the opportunity to make a lifelong commitment, if that is what they feel called to.
I personally feel that children (who are often the weapons used in this discussion) benefit not by the gender of the adults who care for them.....but benefit by having two people who commit themselves to see that they have support for growth in education, emotional growth and indeed humanity!
If two women (and many do) decide to parent children they are likely to do a good job.  I would like to have had two mothers!
I also think it is possibly a bit harder for men, (because we are not too bright!)  but certainly have encountered relationships in the last year of men who are deeply committed to their children, grandchildren and stable family life. Indeed the gay men I know best have been in relationships of 2, 3 & 4 decades...even Barrowman (who got married in 2013......) has been in a relationship for 20+ years.

But as I say all this is a diversion!

Monday, 29 December 2014

Another year(1)

One of the difficulties for me is that my blogging, my preaching, my ranting and my raving all get intertwined.
So forgive me if this .... isn't quite as clear as you might like it..... I am going back through (some of ) my blogs for the last year .
The fact that I am listening to Cleo Laine as I try to make this reflection tells you that at some points in my life I have got got stuck.......she is now 87.
There are two people who I have missed out on seeing...Cleo and also Dionne Warwick....I have left my run too late!
As I looked back on the last year on 20/12/13 the ABC  revealed that I was an INTP...this meant that using Myers-Briggs i am LvB...pretty happy with that. The greatest music ever (even better than Lane-Dankworth!!)
Each year I reveal the best poem I have written O spotless virgin....still think it is
The title is ironic and speaks much of my life

O perfect God
O perfect God 
you should have been more careful

of everyone

Why put them together so that mothers scratch their sons

and sons bleed over their mothers


We moved on because I ( and of course others) had a horrendous six weeks in which 6 friends died.
Christmas last year was almost excruciating
But I am always glad when you get to that point in preparing for funerals when we can be sad for the death...but rejoice in the life. Even with F...whose funeral was excruciating...the eulogy seemed like a story of a man no one had really known but who could have been . For his widow who is mercifully released, and for the children who still bear something of the awfulness which was his illness and still work through that.
Cufflinks were a such a privilege and a joy to be given by one of those who had died ...a simple gift. A lot of sadness but glad to have known Tom.
A lot of the the other ephemera you can read in  the earlier parts of this blog (go back to mid January 2014)


Have loved having our dog, Betsey...who has challenged us in all sorts of ways



I struggled to walk the dog this morning
She, ever ready, rustled as soon as I stirred to pee
She, always hungry, looked expectantly at me
Thinking, somehow, I am the provider
I have never been able to be.

Walking the park, she tugged and tugged
Sweeping this way and that
Once a duck, once a pup, never, thanks, a cat.
I, always, wanting control said "Leave it!"
Good luck with that!

In the park a gorgeous girl
Had a tiny pup
Shall we play or stir them up?
She was good, and her command
Got obedience  on the up

Betsey, Betsey, such a life
Such a dog and such a strife
Pulling this way, pulling that
more at ducks than at the cat

I struggled to walk her this morning
But it was, as always,
better for me than for her!

Jamie's was fun

We went here for a lunch on the Sunday after Christmas. [Father and three adult children and son in law] (Relatively easy to park in Myers ). Food was excellent  Particularly Polenta chips and zucchini tempura. Oooh!    I had mussels (obviously not South Australian since they were tiny) which were very beautiful. Interesting and good to see pasta being made on site. We all enjoyed tasting each others' dishes
Despite being warned that drinks were horrendously priced they were Ok. BUT there is absolutely no excuse in the middle of
 three major Australian wine regions for not having an amazing cellar....if there was it was certainly not being promoted!
Staff were great...all young ( surely there is scope for some staff in their 30s and 40s!)...there was a shift change while we were there and the first shift hung around and had coffee and a drink....obviously they enjoy the atmosphere too.
We'd booked and there seemed plenty of space on a Sunday afternoon. No wait and great service (from both shifts). Will go again!

Monday, 22 December 2014

Often we forget

We are pointed  (here)to  an interview on the BBC with Bishop Suheil Dawani, the Anglican Bishop of Jerusalem

He notes that the Syrian conflict has probably meant that we have probably lost the Anglican Church in Syria.

He notes, too, the importance of Anglican institutions throughout the Holy Lands (see the footnote 1. below)

The Anglican Church has a number of important healthcare facilities including a significant medical presence in Nablus, {where a much loved Adelaide Doctor has worked}, Gaza {which has been the backbone of dealing with the medical misery of that sad place }[hospitals in each] and Zababdeh (The Penman Clinic {of course named after a former and much loved Archbishop of Melbourne...who was keen that we should not forget the awful suffering that the poor and disenfranchised suffer in a place of such political conflict )...all in Palestine .
Recent requests for support (eg. from the Anglican Board of Missions)  have not been to further political ends but rather  to ensure that the poor are cared for.

We also forget that most Christians, almost all Anglicans (as for example Bp Suheil),  in the Holy Lands are ethnic Arabs. Many of whom can trace their ancestry back to the time of our Lord. The same is true of Orthodox Christians and Roman Catholics


_________________

1.      Please note it is appropriate to use the term Holy Lands (in plural form)  rather than Holy Land to refer to the places we hold so dear. Not all of the “traditional sites” of the Gospels lie within the modern state of Israel.  And it would be incorrect to suggest that the Hol Land is co-terminus with either the present bounds of the State of Israel  or what some radical Zionists consider to be the legitimate  border of a "potential Israel".  Bethlehem itself lies in Palestine, as do Bethany, and Jericho.  Of course cities such as Gaza, Ramallag abd Nablus, often in the news lie in PalestineMount Nebo (where Moses died  and was taken to heaven) is in Jordan……